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Idalys Ortiz pleases home crowd with second gold

25 Jan 2016 00:30

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation
20160124_Havana_O78_ORTIZ, Idalys (CUB)

The public at the Grand Prix of Havana came in numbers to see ‘its’ Olympic Champion, Idalys Ortiz, in action throughout the day. And the thousands of spectators were not disappointed as the always smiling and relaxed Ortiz managed to step into the final without really being endangered by her successive opponents. In the final, in front of her audience, the Olympic and former world champion was opposed to the one who was considered as an outsider in the morning of the competition.

Indeed, French Lucie Louette Kanning  has an unusual background which makes her story even more beautiful today. Leader in her category (-78kg) in France a few years ago, she was blocked by a young athlete of incomparable power, Audrey Tcheumeo (FRA) who became world champion. Lucie Louettte Kanning decided to go up in the + 78kg weight category, where athletes are much heavier than her. Things seemed to go well for the French, until she seriously injured her knee. A surgery and months of rehabilitation later, she is back on the tatami for a new chapter of her career.

This must have been something impressive for the French to enter the stadium under the hurrahs of the crowd, which came here with one aim: to see their hero, Idalys Ortiz. Having the full support of the public, nevertheless cheering with fairplay for Louettte Kanning as well, the current Olympic champion awaited the first little mistake of her opponent to send her into a huge rolling movement for a ippon and for the delight of all the spectators.

The first bronze medal fight opposed Maria Suelen Altheman (BRA), two times finalist of the World Championships (2013 and 2014) and the bronze medalist of the last pan-american championships, Vanessa Zambotti (MEX) who scored the first yuko as both athletes were entering the last minute of the bout. Zambotti could explode with joy as the final gong echoed in the venue.

Svitlana Iaromka (UKR) and Melissa Mojica (PUR) were the last two athletes qualified for the second bronze medal fight and Iaromka immobilized her opponent for ippon.

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Related Judo Photos

  • Lucie Louette (FRA), Idalys Ortiz (CUB) - Grand Prix Havana (2016, CUB) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Idalys Ortiz (CUB), Lucie Louette (FRA), Svitlana Iaromka (UKR), Vanessa Zambotti (MEX) - Grand Prix Havana (2016, CUB) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Lucie Louette (FRA) - Grand Prix Havana (2016, CUB) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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